SJC Expands  Pure Emergency Exception to Animals in  Duncan

SJC Expands Pure Emergency Exception to Animals in Duncan

On April 11, 2014, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) extended the pure-emergency exception to allow police officers and other public officials to enter a home without first obtaining a warrant “to render emergency assistance to animals.” The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 14 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights each require a judicial determination of probable cause prior to a government intrusion into an individual’s dwelling. Nevertheless, there are a number of exceptions to this requirement. One such exception “permits the police to enter a home without a warrant when

[...]

D.C. Circuit in Verizon Strikes FCC’s “Net Neutrality” Rules  for Broadband Providers

D.C. Circuit in Verizon Strikes FCC’s “Net Neutrality” Rules for Broadband Providers

In Verizon v. FCC, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, for the second time in four years, reviewed the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority to impose “net neutrality” rules on broadband service providers’ network management practices.

[...]

SJC Requires Search Warrants To Obtain Defendants’ Cellular Site Location Information in Augustine

SJC Requires Search Warrants To Obtain Defendants’ Cellular Site Location Information in Augustine

The right for a person to be free in his or her body, effects, and property from governmental intrusion serves as the bedrock of the Bill of Rights, as well as the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s Declaration of Rights.

[...]

SJC in Canty Addresses Police Officer Testimony at OUI Trials

SJC in Canty Addresses Police Officer Testimony at OUI Trials

Police officer testimony during OUI (operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol) trials in Massachusetts often reads like a script from an all too familiar play, with indicators of alcohol intoxication largely the same across police reports and police officer testimony. Police reports are almost certain to include phrases such as, “odor of alcohol on the [driver’s] breath” and “eyes were bloodshot.”

[...]

Providing Context:   New Hampshire Supreme Court Allows Recording of Officer’s “Motive to Lie” Statement into Evidence

Providing Context: New Hampshire Supreme Court Allows Recording of Officer’s “Motive to Lie” Statement into Evidence

Ernest Willis was convicted of various sexual assault offenses that occurred in 1997. He appealed those convictions in State v. Willis, by arguing that the court erred in admitting certain portions of a police interrogation recording into evidence. The conviction arose from Willis’s interactions with a fifteen-year-old girl who attended his church.

[...]

Back It Up:  Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds First Amendment and Common-Law Rights of Access to Criminal Trial Do Not Extend to Backup Room Recording

Back It Up: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds First Amendment and Common-Law Rights of Access to Criminal Trial Do Not Extend to Backup Room Recording

In Commonwealth v. Winfield, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), in a matter of first impression, held that the First Amendment right of access to a criminal trial—as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment—and the common-law right of access to judicial records did not extend to a backup room recording that was not the official record of the trial.

[...]

After Online Equity:  De-Crowding and Accommodating Venture Capital

After Online Equity: De-Crowding and Accommodating Venture Capital

On October 23, 2013, the SEC released its proposed equity crowdfunding rules. The proposed rules, which come over a year and a half after the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) was signed into law, outline the details of how the legislation’s new crowdfunding provisions will function. While many have lauded the new rules as potentially useful for capital-seeking startup companies, this new financing mechanism has two serious limitations.

[...]


Latest Print Edition

PdfPDF by Steven K Berenson | December-19-2014 |

In the spring of 2013, the attention of many turned to one of the largest jackpots available in the history of the Powerball multistate lottery. Eventually, it was reported that Pedro Quezada of New Jersey was the sole winner of the prize. Quezada opted to take a $211 million lump-sum payment, rather than receiving the full amount of the $338 million prize in installments. However, New Jersey authorities made clear that the $29,000 Quezada owed in child support arrears would be deducted before any payments were made to him.   Other than perhaps Quezada himself, few people would have any quibble with this relatively small deduction from his jackpot winnings. After all, the obligation to support one’s children is firmly [...]

PdfPDF by Harvey Gee | December-19-2014 |

For decades, the Supreme Court has expressly declined to address whether the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination prohibits the State from using evidence of a non-testifying defendant’s pre-arrest silence in its case-in-chief. But it did so last term in Salinas v. Texas, a ruling that significantly affected the rights of Americans set forth in Miranda v. Arizona. In Salinas, the Court considered whether the Fifth Amendment’s protection against self-incrimination bars the admission of evidence about a defendant’s pre-arrest, pre-Miranda silence as substantive evidence of guilt. However, the Court did not ultimately address this broad issue. Instead, a three-justice plurality only narrowly held that because Salinas did not expressly invoke his Fifth Amendment privilege in his pre-arrest, pre-Miranda police interview, his [...]

PdfPDF by Daniel J. Hulsebosch | December-19-2014 |

Americans and their historians have long viewed constitution-making in the Founding Era as a local event with global repercussions. It is a story of American ideals and interests in which American drafters, voters, and ratifiers made key decisions. Americans then began to work out the meaning of their constitutions in state and federal institutions, which required that some officeholders be citizens. Only after the ratification of the federal Constitution did foreign nations take heed, through imitation and (later) force. This myth of the originally authentic, and later diffusionist constitution, is not limited to the United States.It has been the dominant conception of constitution-making in many times and places.   In fact, American constitution-making began as an international process. All the [...]

PdfPDF by Benjamin Conery | December-19-2014 |

Defamation suits involving anonymous online speech swing between extremes: Some cases involve vulgar postings meant to harass and ridicule, while others take on a whistleblower-like significance in exposing possible political or corporate malfeasance. Despite the prevalence of such cases, there are no national standards guiding a judge’s determination of when to reveal the identities of anonymous posters. Instead, courts have applied a jumble of tests. Some worried observers see the lack of uniformity and the accompanying uncertainties as threats to speak anonymously—a right the Supreme Court has jealously guarded.   Complicating the issue is the variety of scenarios present in these defamation cases. These suits can be broadly separated into two factions: legitimate defamation suits sometimes called “cybersmears,” and illegitimate [...]

PdfPDF by Raymond Grant | December-19-2014 |

Two separate, but related, stories represent a growing debate permeating throughout the competitive atmosphere of Massachusetts high school athletics. At the 2010 Western Massachusetts Division I girls’ field hockey championship game, the two title contenders were engaged in a highly competitive match with the score tied late in the game. With time running out, a player broke free from the field and scored the championship-winning goal as the player collided into the opposing team’s goaltender. Both the play and ensuing result appear relatively normal until it is revealed that a male student athlete, a standout performer in both ice hockey and lacrosse, scored the game-winning goal, and that the female goaltender suffered a concussion as a result of the collision. [...]

PdfPDF by Christian McTarnaghan | December-19-2014 |

The concept of a legal remedy is an old tenant of both the English and the American legal systems. At one time, based on the very remedies they had jurisdiction to provide litigants, American courts were split in two, with courts of equity and courts of law.   Remedies are omnipresent in civil litigation. The relief sought in civil cases fall into two broad categories: monetary or equitable. The concept of monetary damages, at its most basic level, is that the liable party pays a dollar amount for the harm it caused another. Conversely, equitable relief is sought in situations where money is insufficient to right the wrong suffered by the nonliable party. In many instances, this form of relief [...]

PdfPDF by Timothy D. Rodden, Jr. | December-19-2014 |

In today’s technologically advanced world, nearly fifty percent of Americans own smartphones, a statistic that increases to sixty-six percent when considering Americans between the ages of twenty-four and thirty-five. This, along with the recording capabilities of smartphones, increases the potential number of police misconduct incidents caught on film. In order to avoid inevitable police misconduct litigation and potential punitive actions by their agencies and departments, police officers discourage citizens from filming them, often implementing creative uses of state and federal laws against civilians who record their activities. Such creative use of these laws raises constitutional concerns regarding civilian recordings of police officers performing their public duties, who for various reasons, do not want their on-duty activity recorded and therefore rarely [...]


View Current & Past Print Volumes >